By Alexander Miladenov, Adam Tooby
The MiG-21, nicknamed 'Fishbed' by means of NATO, was once the first Soviet jet fighter from 1972 onward, opposing the F-15 Eagle and F-14 Tomcat world wide in a number of conflicts.
The MiG-21 firmly holds the identify of the world's most generally outfitted and used jet fighter, with over 10,000 devices rolling off the strains of 3 vegetation within the former Soviet Union. the sort was once additionally outfitted lower than license in India and Czechoslovakia, and with no license in China until eventually the past due 2000s. Designed as a Mach-2 mild tactical fighter, its unique prototype, the Ye-6/1, used to be first flown in 1958. the 1st construction version of the kind, specified the MiG-21F, seemed in 1960 and its stronger sub-variant, the MiG-21F-13 (Type seventy four, NATO reporting identify Fishbed-C), was once made to be had for export via 1961. It was once a simplified daylight hours short-range, clear-weather interceptor and tactical fighter.
The MiG-21F-13 featured a comparatively vulnerable armament of simply R-3S air-to-air missiles (AA-2 Atoll, a marginally superior reverse-engineered replica of the AIM-9B Sidewinder heat-seeking AAM) with a good diversity at low altitude of among 0.27nm/0.5km and 1.1nm/2km. in response to its pilots, the MiG-21F-13 used to be an exceptional clear-day interceptor although it had restricted wrestle radius and negative evening potential. the sunshine and agile airplane was once designed from the outset to intercept transonic/supersonic bombers and tactical combatants in any respect altitudes, as much as 66,000ft.
The MiG-21bis used to be the final model of the kind that took the air for the 1st time in 1969, with the 1st construction examples rolling off the road in 1972. The MiG-21bis featured a bolstered fuselage, optimised for low-level air strive against and floor assault. It used to be powered through the upgraded R-25-300 turbojet, rated at 40.2kN (9,038lb) dry and 69.65kN (15,653lb) with reheat, that includes a three-minute emergency reheat ranking of ninety seven kN (21,790 lb) at low point. Pilots famous, even if, that the heavier 'bis' was once less agile than the MiG-21PF/PFM, and that it behaved like a "bull" within the air whereas flying the MiG-21PFM was once like "riding a stallion."
The MiG-21bis used to be a profitable mix of a Nineteen Sixties airframe and powerplant equipped with a 1970s-vintage analog avionics suite and sleek dogfight missiles. via the mid-1980s, even though it retained the critical shortcomings of its predecessors - constrained operational radius and radar diversity, loss of beyond-visual-range missiles, negative pilot visibility, mediocre gradual velocity dealing with features and excessive pilot workload, requiring demanding education and focus in the course of the whole sortie - it proved to be a cheap and largely well known wrestle plane.
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Extra info for Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
Both introduced very large dorsal spines which extended from the cockpit to halfway along the fin and then tapered to join up with the parachute housing, and which provided maximum possible tankage. The three-cell dorsal conformal tank package accommodated 900 litres of fuel. 08kN (15,268lb st). 59kN (4,180lb), compared to the baseline R-13-300. The MiG-21SMT’s takeoff weight with full internal tanks and two missiles was 8,900kg, while the maximum take-off weight with air-to-ground ordnance under the wings and a centreline drop tank reached 10,100kg.
It is also noteworthy that there was a considerable difference between the kill claims of the warring parties. For instance, the VPAF kill claims list, as cited by prominent VPAF wartime operations researcher, Dr Istvan Toperczer, comprised of no fewer than 320 US aircraft, with 134 own losses admitted in air combats. In contrast, US claims (as per the US Navy official study) comprised 193 kills and 91 own losses or probable losses (six of these losses were on account of Chinese fighters that downed US aircraft after the latter had strayed into Chinese airspace).
On 27 December the same pilot was tactics devised by the VPAF, with lucky at last, reportedly managing to penetrate the F-4 fighter escort assistance from Soviet advisers, and reach a three-strong bomber formation. The MiG-21MF was flying called for the use of hit-and-run at 1,200km/h at 10,000m (32,800ft) as Tuan launched two R-3S heatseeking missiles in salvo against one of the B-52s from 2,000m distance attacks, breaking at high speed and immediately disengaged, breaking sharply and entering into a steep through the fighter escort and dive.